CHAPTER 29
Neighborhood Preservation

Article 1    Purpose and Intent

4.29.102 Findings.

The City Council of the City of Oakley hereby finds and determines that it is necessary and appropriate to establish standards for property maintenance that reasonably relate to the proper exercise of the City’s police power and to provide for the abatement of conditions which are offensive or annoying to the senses, detrimental to property values and community appearance, an obstruction to or interference with the comfortable enjoyment of adjacent property or premises, or hazardous or injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the general public in ways which constitute a public nuisance, for each of the following reasons:

a.    To safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the community by maintaining property in a good, safe and appropriate condition; and,

b.    To enhance the economic value and general welfare of the City and each area within it, through the regulation of the appearance and maintenance of property located within the City of Oakley; and,

c.    To promote a sound and attractive community appearance; and,

d.    To require a minimum level of maintenance of private property to protect the livability, appearance and social and economic stability of the City, to provide for the maximum use and enjoyment of property in proximity to one another, and to protect the public from the health and safety hazards and the impairments of property values that result from the neglect and deterioration of property; and,

e.    To allow for appropriate corrective measures to be taken to address conditions that threaten the public health, safety or welfare by lawfully delineating the circumstances under which such condition(s) may be considered illegal and/or abated.

f.    Provisions of this Chapter are supplementary and complementary to all other provisions of the Oakley Municipal Code, state law, and any law cognizable at common law or in equity, and nothing herein shall be read, interpreted or construed in any manner so as to limit any existing right or power of the City to abate any nuisance or initiate any action provided for by law.

Article 2    Property Maintenance Standards for Small Residential Lots

4.29.202 Applicability.

This Chapter shall apply to all properties which are designed or used for residential uses and zoned R-15, R-12, R-10, R-7, R-6 and Planned Unit (P-1) Development Districts with single family residential uses.

4.29.204 Responsibility for Property Maintenance.

a.    Every owner of real property is required to maintain such property in a manner so as not to violate the provisions of this Chapter and such owner remains liable for violations thereof regardless of any contract or agreement with any third party regarding such property or of the identity or relationship of any party responsible for creating the violation. Every successive property owner who fails to abate a continuing nuisance is liable in the same manner as the property owner who created the nuisance.

b.    Every occupant, lessee, or holder of any interest in property other than the owner thereof, is required to maintain such property in the same manner as is required of the owner, and the duty imposed by Section 4.29.204(a) on the owner shall in no instance relieve the persons herein referred to from the same duty.

c.    For the purposes of this Chapter, the terms "responsible party," "person," "owner," "occupant," "lessee" or "holder of any interest in property other than owner" includes, but is not limited to, an individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, trust, estate, receiver or any other entity.

4.29.206 Prohibition Against Public Nuisances.

a.    It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property covered by this Chapter to cause or permit any property to violate any provision of this Chapter, or to maintain property or permit property to be maintained in a condition which violates any provision of this Chapter or any order issued pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

b.    It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property covered by this Chapter to take any action or allow any action to be taken at that property in violation of any provision of this Chapter or any order issued pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

Article 3    Definitions

4.29.302 Definitions.

Except as otherwise set forth in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings for purposes of this Chapter:

a.    "Abandoned", in addition to those definitions provided by state law, local ordinances and case law, the term "abandoned" means and refers to any item which has ceased to be used for its designed and intended purpose.

b.    "Abate" means to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise remedy the condition in question by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the Code Enforcement Officer in his/her judgment shall determine is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

c.    "Attractive Nuisance" means any condition, building or structure, instrument or machine which is unsafe, unprotected and may prove detrimental to children whether in a building, on the premises of a building or on any unoccupied lot. This includes but is not limited to:

i.    Neglected, unused or broken equipment or machinery;

ii.    Abandoned wells, shafts, or basements;

iii.    Unprotected pools, ponds, or excavations;

iv.    Structurally unsound fences or structures;

v.    Structurally unsound or unsecure buildings or structures;

vi.    Abandoned or broken refrigerators, freezers or other appliances;

vii.    Accumulations of lumber, trash, debris or similar materials which may prove hazardous or dangerous to inquisitive minors;

viii.    An excessive accumulation of chemicals, motor oil, or other hazardous materials.

d.    "Boat" means a boat of any kind, whether self-propelled or propelled by any other means, including sailing vessels and all other structures adapted to be navigated on water from place to place for recreational purposes or for the transportation of merchandise or persons.

e.    "Camper Shell" shall mean a vehicle accessory designed to be mounted upon a motor vehicle and to provide facilities for human habitation, camping purposes or storage.

f.    "City Enforcement Officer" means that City officer or employee as may be designated in writing by the City Manager to enforce property or premises maintenance, zoning and other City Code violations, as authorized by Penal Code Section 836.5.

g.    "Decorative Landscaping" shall mean decorative non-live materials used to cover dirt in a garden or yard, such as rocks, gravel, bark or non-vegetative ground cover and does not include an improved surface.

h.    "Dismantled" means that from which essential equipment, parts or contents have been removed or stripped and the outward appearance verifies the removal.

i.    "Garbage" means every accumulation of animal, vegetable or other matter that attends the preparation, consumption, decay, dealing in or storage of meats, fish, fowl, birds, fruit or vegetables.

j.    "Ground cover" shall be defined as vegetative material, or permeable materials such as mulch, decomposed granite or similar permeable materials

k.    "Household Items" shall mean any item, including any part of the item, typically used in the interior of a dwelling. By way of example and not limitation, the term Household Item includes washing machines, sinks, stoves, heaters, boilers, tanks, mattresses, sofas, couches or futons, upholstered chairs, and indoor carpets. The term Household Item excludes furniture expressly designed for outdoor use.

l.    "Improved Surface" shall mean any surface which has been improved with pavement, asphalt, cement, brick, interlocking pavers or other similar material and maintained in such a manner as to provide for a mud-free and dustless surface. Compacted decomposed granite or other similar compacted material such as loose gravel, bark, rocks, and other similar materials may not be considered an improved surface for the purposes of additional parking.

m.    "Inoperative" means incapable of functioning or producing activity for mechanical or other reasons.

n.    "Landscaping" shall mean the planting of trees, shrubs, or grass, or other live plants, or the use of decorative landscaping to improve the appearance of the land.

o.    "Major Auto Repair" means and includes pulling an engine block, repair or replacement of transmissions and front and rear axles, major body repair, dismantling, painting and similar work.

p.    "Motor Vehicle" means any passenger vehicle, truck, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, golf cart, or other similar self-propelled vehicle.

q.    "Owner" means the registered owner of a vehicle, the person(s) to whom property tax is assessed on real or personal property, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the County, renter(s), lessor(s) and other occupants residing permanently or temporarily on Property or Premises. Owner shall also mean any person with legal or equitable title to real or personal property, including but not limited to any bank, mortgage company, financial institution or similar entity or lien holder that has control and dominion over the property.

r.    "Polluted Water" means water that contains any bacterial growth, including but not limited to algae, remains of rubbish, fecal matter, untreated sewage, refuse, debris, papers, or any other foreign matter or material that, because of its nature or location, constitutes an unhealthy or unsafe condition.

s.    "Premises" means any building, lot parcel, real estate, or land or portion of land whether improved or unimproved, occupied or unoccupied, including adjacent streets, sidewalks, parkways and parking strips.

t.    "Property" means any real property including but not limited to land, lot or parcel of land, or any hereditament held by any Owner, and shall include any alley, sidewalk, parkway or unimproved public easement abutting such real property, lot or parcel of land.

u.    "Rubbish" means combustible and noncombustible waste materials except garbage including without limitation wood, leaves or trimmings from shrubs, dead trees or the branches thereof, shavings, sawdust, excelsior, dodgers, printed matter, paper, pasteboard, grass, rags, straw, boots, shoes, hats, boxes, rubber, leather, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery, dust and other similar materials, and all other matter not included under the term "Garbage."

v.    "Storage Container" shall mean any object that can be used to hold things. By way of example and not limitation, a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another or a prefabricated enclosure that is not required to have a building permit and is not permanently affixed to the ground, but which is not on wheels or mobile.

w.    "Structure" means anything constructed, built or planted upon, any edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner, which structure requires location on the ground or is attached to something having a location on the ground, including fences, gates, garages, carports, swimming and wading pools, patios, outdoor areas, paved areas, walks, tennis courts and similar recreation areas.

x.    "Unimproved surface" shall mean any surface other than an improved surface as defined in Section 4.29.202(m).

y.    "Vector" means any animal or insect capable of transmitting the causative agent of human disease including, but not limited to, mosquitoes, flies, mites, ticks, other arthropods, rodents and other vertebrates.

z.    "Weed Block" means material that is installed over a dirt surface in order to prevent the growth of weeds and that does not prevent the infiltration or passage of water into the dirt surface.

aa.    "Weeds" as used in this chapter shall have the definition in Government Code section 39561.5, as it may be amended.

bb.    "Wrecked" means that which has outward manifestation or appearance of damage to parts and contents which are essential to operation.

cc.    "Yard" means any open space between a lot line and the nearest line of any building.

(Sec. 2, Ordinance No. 12-18, adopted August 14, 2018; Sec. 1, Ordinance No. 18-16, adopted August 9, 2016)

Article 4    Residential Property Maintenance Standards

4.29.402 Landscaping Requirements.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    Overgrown, diseased, dead or decayed trees, shrubbery, weeds, lawns or other vegetation that:

1)    Constitutes a fire hazard or other condition that is dangerous to the public peace, health, safety, welfare; or

2)    Creates the potential for the harboring of rats, vermin, vector, or other similar nuisances; or

3)    Is overgrown onto a public right-of-way at least six inches.

b.    Any trees, shrubbery, or other vegetation that overhang onto streets and sidewalks and are not trimmed or maintained in accordance with the following standards:

1)    At least twelve (12) feet above the street and gutter along streets which are not used for bus routes.

2)    At least eight feet above the entire sidewalk.

3)    At least sixteen (16) feet above the street and gutter along streets which are used for bus routes.

c.    Any trees, shrubbery or other vegetation that is completely dead, over eight inches in height and covers more than fifty percent (50%) of the front or side yard visible from any public street.

d.    A violation of any landscaping requirement under an applicable development permit.

e.    The improved surface of the property exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the required front yard area setback (including the driveway), except when the property is developed in a manner consistent with Section 9.1.1122(f), or enhancements to required front yards include improved surfaces consisting of drought tolerant and decorative hardscape that is designed and located in a manner where it may not be accessed by vehicles, or used as parking for vehicles, subject to review and approval of the Code Enforcement Manager.

f.    A property on which the unimproved surfaces are not maintained in good condition or repair, including without limitation any property which contains excessive weeds, rubbish or debris. Landscaping shall be installed and maintained in any unimproved portion of the front and side yards that is visible from any public right-of-way. If only Decorative Landscaping is used to meet the requirements of this section, "Weed Block" shall also be used.

(Sec. 2, Ordinance No. 18-16, adopted August 9, 2016)

4.29.404 Storage of Household Items, Construction Items and Rubbish.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    The accumulation of garbage, refuse, or rubbish

i.    in any area which is visible from a public street for a period of more than seven (7) consecutive days; or

ii.    in such a manner as to threaten the public health, safety or welfare; or

iii.    in such a manner so as to create a significant blight upon the surrounding neighborhood.

b.    The accumulation of construction materials, including wood, dirt, rubbish or other debris in any area which is visible from a public street for more than thirty (30) consecutive days, where there is no valid current building or demolition permit on the property.

c.    The keeping or storage of garbage, refuse or recycling containers, carts, trashcans or shopping carts in a location that is visible from a public street for more than twenty-four (24) hours following the scheduled pickup date. For lots that do not have side yard access, such containers shall be screened from public view and placed behind the front yard setback.

d.    The placement of storage containers, shipping containers, cargo containers, box cars, moving containers, within the front yard setback up to two (2) times per calendar year, for no more than thirty (30) consecutive days on each occasion. Where there is a valid current building or demolition permit on the property, the Chief Building Official may allow an extension of these timeframes as part of the building permit process.

4.29.406 Exterior Property Conditions.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    An attractive nuisance in any area which is unsecured, accessible to the public or substantially screened from view from a public street. For purposes of this section, an area is deemed to be "substantially screened" if it is completely enclosed by a "Closed Fence" as defined in Section 9.1.202(b)36.a. or an "Open Fence" as defined in Section 9.1.202(b)36.b. of the Municipal Code.

b.    Any wall or fence in a condition where it is missing a fence board, or any portion thereof, or is kept in any other poorly maintained condition. For purposes of this section, a poorly maintained condition shall include any fence that is sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed or is otherwise structurally unsound or unsafe and which is visible from any public right-of-way for a period of more than (30) consecutive days.

c.    Any hazardous condition including without limitation:

i.    Any condition or object, including landscaping, motor vehicles, fencing or signs that obscures the visibility of traffic, pedestrians, or street intersections in a manner that constitutes a hazard.

ii.    Any swimming pool, pond or other body of water that is abandoned, unattended, unfiltered, or not otherwise maintained, so that the water has become or is becoming a Polluted Water.

4.29.408 Prohibited Activities.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to engage in or allow others to engage in any one or more of the following activities on such property:

a.    Wrecking, dismantling, disassembling, manufacturing, fabricating, building, remodeling, assembling, repairing, painting or servicing, in the front yard setback, any motor vehicle, boat, trailer, machinery, equipment, appliance or appliances, furniture or other personal property. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the routine maintenance of personal property that is owned, leased or rented by the owner, lessee, or occupant of the property so long as (1) any routine maintenance performed shall be completed within a seventy-two (72) consecutive hour period, (2) the activity does not result in a violation of Section 4.1.102, et seq., of this Code (3) the property is cleaned of all debris, oil, grease, gasoline, cloths, rags, equipment or other materials used in the work and (4) the property is left in a condition so as not to create a hazard to persons or property. For purposes of this section, routine maintenance means and includes changing oil and tires, replacement of water pump, alternator, brakes, shocks, oil and air filters, and spark plugs, and similar work but not major auto repairs.

b.    The parking of any motor vehicle, trailer, camper or boat on any unimproved surface, unless it is located outside of the required front yard setback and screened by a minimum six-foot-tall solid fence. For the purpose of this subsection, a resident is allowed to park no more than two trailers, campers or boats in the front yard setback, on a legally established driveway per Section 9.1.1122(f). The trailer, camper or boat must be registered to the owner or renter of the property where it is parked. This allowance shall not supersede any CC&R or home owner association provisions that may prohibit this parking.

c.    The parking of any disabled vehicle, boat, camper or trailer, or any that appear inoperable, within the front yard or side yard setback from a period of more than seventy-two (72) hours. Any of the following characteristics shall apply to this subsection: flat tire or tires; litter or vegetation under the vehicle; significant body damage; lack of a motor, doors or other body parts; broken window or windows.

d.    Welding or burning operations at any time in any front or street side yard setback.

e.    The use of any motor vehicle for living or sleeping quarters in any place in the City, except in a location lawfully operated as a mobile home park or travel trailer park, subject to the following:

i.    Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prohibit bona fide guests of a City resident from occupying a recreational vehicle upon residential premises with the consent of the resident for a period not to exceed seven (7) days, as long as it is parked on an improved surface.

ii.    Any recreational vehicle so used shall not discharge any waste or sewage into the sewer system except through the residential discharge connection of the residential premises on which the recreational vehicle is parked.

(Sec. 3, Ordinance No. 12-18, adopted August 14, 2018; Sec. 3, Ordinance No. 18-16, adopted August 9, 2016; Sec. 1, Ordinance 18-14, adopted November 18, 2014; Sec. 1, Ordinance No. 04-13, adopted April 9, 2013)

4.29.410 Building Maintenance Requirements.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    Any unsecured building or structure. For purposes of this section, an unsecured building or structure shall mean:

i.    Any building or structure which is inhabited, occupied or used without the consent of the owner or the agent of the owner; or

ii.    Any building or structure to which unauthorized persons can readily gain entry without the consent of the owner or the agent of the owner; or

iii.    Any vacant building or structure which contains broken, missing or unsecured windows, doors or other openings for more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours; or

iv.    Any occupied building or structure which contains broken, missing or unsecured windows, doors or other openings within public view for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days.

b.    Any building or structure which is kept or maintained in a state of disrepair. For purposes of this section, a building or structure "in a state of disrepair" means:

i.    Exterior walls or roof covering have become deteriorated, do not provide adequate weather protection, or which evidence the presence of termite infestation or dry rot; or

ii.    Broken, missing or unsecured windows, doors or other openings in the building or structure that create a hazardous condition, a potential attraction to trespassers or result in an unsecured building or structure as defined in Section 4.29.310(a); or

iii.    Boarded up windows, doors or other openings in an occupied building or structure for more than thirty (30) consecutive days, unless the Chief Building Official has granted an extension of time in which to make repairs or otherwise abate the condition; or

iv.    The maintenance of any building or structure in a state of substantial deterioration, including without limitation the substantial peeling of paint on an exterior façade; exterior walls or roofs that do not provide adequate weather protection; or exterior walls or roofs which show evidence of the presence of termite infestation or dry rot, or damaged porches, broken steps or walkways to the extent that the disrepair is visible from a public street; or

v.    Any building or structure which, by reason of obsolescence, has inadequate electrical wiring, gas connections, heating apparatus, or other deficiencies that cause a fire hazard and is so situated as to endanger life or other buildings or property in the vicinity or provide a ready fuel supply to augment the spread and intensity of fire arising from any cause; or

vi.    Any building or structure in which the stress of any material member, or portion thereof, of a structure, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half times the working stress or stresses allowed in the California Building Code; or

vii.    Any building or structure, or any portion thereof, which has been damaged by earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated such that the structural strength or stability thereof is appreciably less than it was before such damage was incurred and is less than the minimum requirements of this Code for a new building or similar structure; or

viii.    Any building or structure, or any portion thereof, which has been damaged by earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated, as to become an attractive nuisance to children who might enter the same or remain therein to their danger or hazard, or as to afford a harborage for vagrants, criminals, or immoral persons, or as to enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing any nuisance or any unlawful or immoral act; or

ix.    Any building or structure, or any portion thereof, that is, in the opinion of the Chief Building Official, likely to fail, become detached or dislodged, or collapse; or

x.    Any building or structure which is used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes which does not have light, air, and sanitation facilities adequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of persons living within said building or structure.

c.    Any partially constructed, reconstructed or demolished building or structure upon which work has been abandoned. Work is deemed abandoned when there is no valid current building or demolition permit for the work or when there has not been any substantial work on the building or structure for a period of six (6) months or more.

d.    Any building or structure which has been abandoned, partially destroyed, or left unreasonably in a state of dilapidation.

4.29.412 Vector Nuisances.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    Any artificial alteration of property, excluding water, from its natural condition, resulting in it supporting the development, attraction or harborage of vectors, with the presence of vectors in their developmental states on property being prima facie evidence that the property is a public nuisance; or

b.    Any activity that supports the development, attraction, or harborage of vectors, or that facilitates the introduction or spread of vectors.

4.29.414 General Nuisances Prohibited.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property to maintain such property in such a manner that any one or more of the following described conditions are found to exist:

a.    Any condition that is detrimental to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare or that constitutes a public nuisance as defined by law or equity, including but not limited to California Civil Code Section 3480, California Penal Code sections 11225 through 11235, and California Health and Safety Code section 11570;

b.    Any condition in violation of the California Building Code, National Electrical Code, California Mechanical Code, Uniform Housing Code, California Health and Safety Code Section 19720.3, California Plumbing Code, Uniform Code for Abatement for Dangerous Buildings, California Fire Code, Uniform Security Code, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, or the State Building Standards Code, as adopted by reference in this Code, subject to any amendments, additions or deletions made thereto;

c.    Any condition in violation of any section or subsection of the Oakley Municipal Code or City rule or regulation or permit issued by the City;

d.    Any condition of deterioration or disrepair that creates a substantial adverse impact on neighboring properties;

e.    Any property maintained, permitted, or allowed to remain in such a condition so as to be defective, unsightly, or in a state of deterioration, disrepair or neglect whereby the condition causes, or may cause, a health, safety or fire hazard, or diminution of surrounding property values, or a blight upon the aesthetic quality or appearance of the neighborhood, or an attractive nuisance as defined herein.

Article 5    Enforcement

4.29.502 Enforcement Authority.

Any property upon which there exists a violation of any provisions of this Chapter is hereby declared and determined to be a public nuisance. When a designated City Enforcement Officer determines there is a violation of any provision of this Chapter, he or she is authorized to issue an administrative citation to a responsible party and/or to abate such violation in accordance with the provisions of any abatement procedure authorized under this Municipal Code or state law and to recover the costs of the same from the owner or other responsible party. The City Enforcement Officer is authorized to use his or her reasonable discretion to extend the time in which an owner may abate any nuisance condition if such condition is the direct result of a fire, earthquake, flood or other natural disaster, unless the City Enforcement Officer reasonably determines that the condition is imminently dangerous to the life, limb, health or safety of the occupants of the property or to the public.

4.29.504 Drought Conditions.

During drought conditions, the City Council, may by resolution, suspend the enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter as they relate to dead or dying vegetation due to lack of water.

4.29.506 Non-conforming Uses.

For lots on which the improved surface of the property exceeds 50% of the front yard area setback (including the driveway) as of March 25, 2008, said improved surface shall be deemed a legal non-conforming use and shall be subject to the provisions of section 9.1.1502(d) of this Code.

4.29.508 Provisions of Chapter Supplemental; Conflicting Provisions.

This Chapter shall not be construed to replace or supersede any other section of this Code, except where expressly provided herein, but shall supplement such provisions. In the event that there is an express conflict between the provisions of this article and another provision of this Code, the more stringent provisions shall prevail so as to carry out the intent of the City Council."

(Sec.1, Ordinance No. 06-08, adopted April 8, 2008)